Vicki Johnston knows D.C. real estate – she’s worked as an agent for eight years, but prior to that she worked in advertising as an account executive with a lot of local developers. When she decided to make the switch, an old client hired her to sell new condominium developments in the Metro area.
“New” has been Johnston’s focus in a burgeoning housing market in the District that continues to expand. There were approximately $3 billion in sales in 2011 with an average selling price of half a million dollars, according to figures from RealEstate Business Intelligence, LLC.
Johnston was assigned to Velocity Condos (1025 First St. SE) from Cohen Companies/ADC in November 2007 for the initial presale opening and has remained the sales manager since. Twenty percent of units are still on the market. The building was completed in 2009 and has 200 residential with retail below. A few studios and one-bedrooms remain – a 644 South facing studio on the 10th floor goes from $294,900, while a 787 South facing one bedroom goes from $398,900. Along with Velocity, she thinks the next hot spots in D.C. will be Southwest and Southeast. In addition, she also sells homes, which can range from $500,000 to closer to $1 million.
“My clientele are almost always referrals from friends, family and business associates and range from young 20-something first-time buyers to downsizers wanting to move into D.C.,” she said.
She has seen it all in the Metro region. Her most memorable home was in Del Ray, Alexandria, Va., where “the ‘half bath’ consisted of a toilet next to the water heater in the utility area of the basement. It was in full working order and even had a bath mat in front.”
One of her quickest sales was in Prince George’s County, a friend’s house that was more than 5,000 SF. She only had to “stage,” where the realtor populates the house with furniture, and had the home sold in just four days.
Johnston hails Buffalo, N.Y. and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in marketing and advertising. She moved to D.C. soon after graduation and has spent most of her career supporting major developers in the region. During the past nine years, she’s bought, sold and remodeled nine homes and now manages two full-time rentals in the metropolitan area, along with two vacation rentals, one in Florida and one in North Carolina.
“I love my job because it’s multifaceted. I do data analysis, I stage, I get to be involved in construction and remodeling…I have to do some savvy negotiating, space planning, run numbers and help people budget expenses, etc.,” she said. Johnston lives at 4th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Mt. Vernon Triangle and also has a home on Lake Anna, Virginia. “The best part is seeing someone really happy and feeling like they accomplished their goal and are moving on to the next adventure in their life.”